Over the next few weeks I am posting excerpts from my new book, Your Destiny, His Glory! Hope you enjoy and order a copy soon! Just click on the title to order.
The battle with the Amalakites was the first battle the Israelites fought after their exodus from Egypt. (Please see Part I below for more explanation.) This battle took place before the day of cell phones and walkie-talkies. The only reliable communication would have been with banners. Each family unit, each group unit, each tribe, and each group of tribes had a banner. The Tabernacle itself was called the Covenant Banner. By looking at the banners, Israel’s military positions could readily be identified.
The Israelites had seen other nations’ banners and were aware that each banner represented a specific king. But Israel’s banner was not a woven piece of cloth. Their banner was the living fire by night and cloud by day that covered their nation.
Historically, when experienced armies defeated their foe, they would tear the banners of the enemy into shreds and tie these shreds onto their own banners. In the heat of battle, the weary warrior could look to the shreds on his banner, remember past victories, and gain courage to fight until another victory came.
Just before the battle with the Amalekites, Moses went up on the mountain so that this inexperienced ragtag slave army could see him. He lifted his rod up to the heavens, thus reminding the Israelites that their banner was the Living God of heaven.
As the warriors saw his rod lifted high, it was as if God Himself was reminding them of their past victories. Remember the Red Sea. Remember the plagues of Egypt. Remember, I AM your God. I AM the God of the cloud by day and the fire by night. I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I AM Jehovah, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and I AM Nissi, your Banner. I AM!
Yesterday they were a ragtag group of slaves. Yesterday they took no responsibility for themselves. But today they would move from slavery to sonship. Today they would shift from no inheritance to full inheritance. Today they would rise up in maturity and leadership and actively take responsibility for themselves and their nation.
I wonder as they ran to the battle, with fire coursing through their veins, did they feel the shift? The night before, they may have had many doubts and fears, but today they could smell the scent of victory.
As they fought throughout the day, Moses continued to hold up his rod, the reminder of the authority and power of their God, the God of cloud and fire.
However, as the day began to fade and the arms of Moses grew heavy, the battle still raged on. When his arms came down, the Israelites began to lose the fight. Would the assured victory of the morning end in defeat tonight? Suddenly, Hur and Aaron were there by Moses’ side. Taking his arms, they lifted the rod of God high. Leading the troops in the valley below, Joshua began to shout, “Look up! Fight on!” Rallying each other with shouts of “Remember the Red Sea!” and “Remember the plagues!” these passive, unseasoned warriors began to fight as sons. Sons of the God of the cloud and fire. Sons of Jehovah-Nissi. As this fresh wind of encouragement swept across the battlefield, the victory was theirs. Theirs to celebrate, theirs to relish. Theirs to tell their children in the days to come.
Teacher, there is a time to remain quiet, only watching, listening, pondering, and being passive. But there comes a time to fight. There is a time to wait, but there is a time to run into the fray. Is it difficult to shift from passivity to confrontation? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes. But know this, Teacher, when you arise to confront, the results are spectacular!
At this battle and shortly thereafter, a paradigm shift occurred in two arenas. By active participation, the slaves became sons, and the government of the nation shifted.
The Israelites’ perception of their God and themselves changed. Jehovah required them to be proactive, to be confrontational, and to participate in the battle. Because of this, the Israelites could count on His presence for the victory. They “got it!” He was their God, and they were his sons. They saw themselves as He saw them. His people. His nation. His sons.
But more took place than the victory in the valley. Aaron and Hur had stepped up to the plate during the battle and were now ready for more responsibility in the camp. Moses began to recognize maturity, leadership ability, and a new level of trustworthiness in the people. Trusting the people with increased authority, a new governmental system was established by Moses upon the advice of his father-in-law, Jethro.
Exodus 18:20-21. “And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
Now these passive slaves had become responsible governmental leaders. Moses appointed judges among the people because he was willing to share the burden of leadership with these reliable, dependable sons of God.
Once again, we see the double blessing of the Teacher gift in this portion. We see the shift from passive slaves to proactive sons and a governmental shift for the nation.